Where do Electronic artists go to perfect new craft sounds by way of experimentation without losing their fanbase in the process? This is always an essential and perhaps double-edged question to ponder for all the bands that aim to innovate. Some artists do whatever they want under one name and take serious opposition when their core sound upsets fans. Recent examples Dawn of Ashes, Apoptygma Berzerk, Grendel, and Velvet Acid Christ spring to mind. Other artists are all but expected to sound different every time out such as Combichrist, Uberbyte, Caustic, C/A/T and now perhaps Unter Null. Fans (and their dollars) are as fickle and critical as they come and as connoisseurs, we should be. This is not to say any one way is better than another but rather that people are listening closer than you may think. The most successful (at least in terms of name recognition) tend to be artists who use side-projects to explore their tastes and then add them back to their “main” project later. Daniel Myer is most well known for his musical dance-floor filling mastery from the band Haujobb. However his side project Architect is far more ambitious and dare I say complete. Released earlier this year on Hymen Records is the latest buzz-worthy chapter, Consume Adapt Create.
Each track on this journey is completely separate from every other track. There are no discernible themes or grandiose statements. This is simply experimenting for experimenting's sake and it succeeds beyond any measure of sound. Resonating throughout the whole album are bits of IDM, Dubstep, Breakcore, Ambient subscapes mixed with glitch-afterthoughts, soaring Synthpop pads and movie-inspired texturing. In short, each track creates its own world that moves the listener in various ways. While this makes for many incredible listening moments it can also easily have underground radio and dance-floor nods as well.
“The Bitch Is Back” starts the epicness out with a glitch-and-strings Ambient track that has Breakcore-influenced notes eerily reminiscent of early DJ? Acucrack. Other highlights for me include “Fast Lane (Freeze Frame),” an almost Film Noir-like Dub number that still has enough Glitchy rhythms to be danceable in a club, “Unhuman,” which boasts a much more old-school Industrial grit to it that keeps you dancing for more, and “The Beauty And The Beat (Rokka),” which leaks out a fusion of Hard IDM beats and tribal-melodies into an absolute Electronica hit that deserves to be played in clubs worldwide simply for its uniqueness and complexity.
Albums like this in any musical vein are almost impossible to describe accurately. No matter in which genre you would classify this you would be both completely correct and yet extremely off-base. If one track is not to your liking it is almost a given that another one will be. This needs to be spun several times to catch all of the nuance and layering on each track, and none of the heavier numbers should get in the way of this for pickier fans. This album is at once alien and familiar, experimental and hook-laden, so complex it feels almost simple and is the quintessence of the worlds that IDM create (In short, Intelligent Dance Music to be enjoyed by the complex listener’s ear.) To all open-minded fans of music-as-art I dare you to live by the motto Consume Adapt Create as well as Myer has done here.
Must have tracks: “The Bitch Is Back,” “Fast Lane (Freeze Frame),” “Unhuman,” “So I Went Out,” “Attack Ships On Fire,” “The Beauty And The Beat (Rokka),” “Wachsmuth.”
For fans of: Empty, Cervello Elettronico, Broken Fabiola, Manufactura, Aesthetic Perfection, Totakeke, ESA, DJ? Acucrack, Nerve Filter.